As we've seen since the trade deadline has passed, the Blackhawks are staying competitive to most of our astonishment. Luke Richardson and his staff have a lot to do with it, but Lukas Reichel should be given the spotlight as well.
The 17th overall selection in the 2020 draft has been nearly a point per game player in the AHL in his 107 games at the AHL level, but it was always going to be a footnote to his career in hockey. Simply put, his talent wasn't going to keep him there for long.
Still 20 years old, Reichel is finally showing some production on the Blackhawks. Never shy of skill, his first stint in the 21-22 season didn't show dividends like the last 9 games have. With 2 goals and 4 assists in just 9 matchups this season that is on pace for a 55 point per 82 game season.
Most importantly to point out though is this: After the trade deadline with a depleted roster, Reichel had a 3 game point streak and has avearged 16:34 TOI since the deadline passed. That's top 6 forward averages for time on ice which is a big improvement for the young winger.
To that point, it is also important to note that it looks like he is settling into his NHL position at wing. While he has played center growing up in Germany as well as in the AHL, it seems that LW will be his permanent position for the Blackhawks.
Reichel will not turn 21 until the offseason and the Hawks are primed to add high end talent over the next 3 drafts in which we have multiple 1sts in each. This would still put our young LW in his early 20s making him a great candidate to grow with our upcoming high end draftees. The future is bright for #27 (still looks strange to me!) and it will be fun to see him as he progresses into a Blackhawk mainstay.
Now if we can just add an elite center to help him progress 🤔 ....